Last month Amazon officially announced a follow-up to Prime Day coming this October — Prime Big Deal Days will be available for Amazon Prime subscribers in 19 countries. While shoppers have a month or so to build their shopping lists, brands need to start preparing now. There are several things brands can do today to ensure a successful round two in October.
Think About Inventory Early
Start having inventory conversations now. Pushback from Amazon is inevitable, as it will want to keep inventory down; however, it is imperative to plan ahead. Businesses are more likely to influence Amazon buy-in when they can definitively sell what they say they can. Don’t oversell products if you don’t have the supply to fulfill orders. Work out allocations now so that there is time to pull from other retailers if possible. While it is exciting to see those paid sales, it is money down the drain and lost momentum if there isn’t enough inventory.
Work with Amazon to ensure products are getting the best placements possible, which is ultimately the front page of the Amazon website. It can be most effective to wrap multiple products into the same deal, resulting in a bundled featured placement. Brands have the ability to drive their own pay-for-performance by showing Amazon why it benefits them to place their products front and center. Once these great placements are established, make sure the product images and display pages are top-notch. It’s important to make it easier for customers to understand what they’re getting to lower the chances of returns and negative reviews.
Advertising strategies should be aligned with inventory levels and sales strategies. It is not possible to have a good sales strategy without a solid advertising strategy and vice versa, but oftentimes these teams operate in silos. Internal teams need to be communicating with each other and working together directly, from now until the Prime Big Deal Days.
Your advertising must be inventory aware, so ensure that your discount levels and budgets are tied to specific ASINs that have enough stock to match the sell-through you anticipate.
Perform your advertising research now. Do you have the tools needed to identify Share of Voice (“SOV”) at the keyword level? It is crucial to know in advance where gaps exist so that they can be filled before the big day in October. Is your brand showing up when customers are searching for your products? It is worth investing in sponsored brand placements as a part of a search term strategy, and this should also be done now.
Showing up before Prime Day could save ad dollars on the actual day, as customers start their searches and perform product research early. This is also the time to learn about the competition. Do some digging and identify where competitor brands and products are appearing, and then go after those placements as well. Prime Day is the ultimate time to take share away from competitors.
Don’t Shy Away from Promos
New products are great for promos. While brands might not want to offer initial discounts, promos should be viewed as investments in the future. Amazon shoppers rely heavily on product reviews and new products need to build these up. Promos typically correlate with a boost to glance views, and are a great way to get people to give new things a try. Promos are also beneficial for anything that is under-pacing versus your forecast.
Consider trying to have Amazon help fund the promo. Amazon buy-in is generally dependent on the dollar amount a company has committed to fully funding a deal — even if that means going past the deal period. There is nothing wrong with going past the deal period if it results in a heavier buy-in from Amazon. These promo strategies will help to quickly ramp up sales and can be another tool to help you hit your Q4 numbers.
Looking to the Future
All of the above-mentioned strategies must be performed with your larger Black Friday/Cyber Monday strategies in mind.
According to our data, we see that the “second Prime Day” (in 2022 known as the Prime Early Access Sale, in 2023 known as Prime Big Deal Days) was slightly less competitive than BFCM, with 7% less ad spend.
Discounts were 6% lower and ROAS was 29% higher, indicating it may be a better use of funds to invest in the Prime Big Deal Days vs. BFCM. Daily average OPS was 22% higher for the Prime Early Access 2022 sale than BFCM 2022.
Once the October Prime Big Deal Days are over, brands need to conduct an immediate supply analysis. What sold through? What still needs to ship? What is Amazon sitting on? This supply analysis should ideally align with the previously conducted sales forecasting. Reach out to vendors if needed to fulfill any oversell orders, and then start loading up on inventory for the next big event — Black Friday will be here before you know it.
Guru Hariharan is CEO of CommerceIQ. He is a seasoned technology and business leader with over 15 years of experience in the ecommerce industry. Before founding the company in 2012, Hariharan spent five-plus years at Amazon building out automated vendor management and supply chain. He also became the AI-based selling coach for 3P sellers. Hariharan also held the role of General Manager of the Marketplace Experience at eBay, where he led the global launch of eBay’s “Fast N’ Free” shipping and the Global Returns programs. Hariharan has a Masters with a focus on Machine Learning from the University of Texas at Austin and an MBA from the Wharton School.